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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what type of heating system is right for me?
 This is the number one HVAC FAQ we receive. Because each home has a specific set of needs, not every heating system may be right for every home.  Heat pumps are generally installed along with central air conditioning systems, so if you are ready for the whole system overhaul, this may be the best option for you. However, there are many instances in which either an electric or gas furnace may be the better choice. The best way to find out what system suits your home best is to consult with a professional. When you come to Bob's Heating & Air Conditioning, we will send someone out to take a look at your home and make recommendations based on the layout of your house and your particular needs.
Where can I get replacement filters?
 When it comes to air conditioning FAQs, filters come up often. You can purchase replacement air filters directly from Bob's Heating & Air Conditioning. In fact, we offer a delivery service as well so you will never have to leave your home in Issaquah, Sammamish or the greater Puget sound to try and find the right kind of filter for your system.  When you sign up for our annual filter replacement programs, you will receive the appropriate filter for your system from USPS every 90 days. We offer a variety of high-quality filters, so that you can be sure to get the type and size that is right for your system. If you are not sure how to install the filter yourself, a technician from Bob's Heating & Air Conditioning will be happy to stop by and help you with removal of the old and installation of the new.
How long does an average air conditioning system last?
In general, the average air conditioner has a lifespan of about 10-20 years. Ten years would be on the low side, indicating that your air conditioner has not been properly maintained. While an air conditioner that has received regular tune-ups and inspections can last up to 20 years, 15 is a decent average for most modern air conditioning units.
Do I need to replace my ductwork when I install a new air conditioner?
There’s no simple answer to this question. Essentially, making sure your ductwork is compatible with your AC system all depends on the condition your ducts are in. The good news is that at Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning, our AC installers also offer duct services, so you can make sure your ducts are where they need to be when installing a new air conditioner.
What does a heat pump do that an air conditioner cannot?
Heat pumps work similarly to air conditioners in that they move heat from inside your home to outside of the house. Unlike an air conditioner, a heat pump can also heat a home. The condenser coils absorb heat from the outdoor air, which moves through the refrigerant inside to the evaporator coils and is released into the home.
How should I dispose of a dirty HVAC filter?
Always shut off your HVAC system completely when replacing your air filter to ensure no unfiltered air is forced through the system. Have a plastic bag ready when you go to change out your air filter and immediately put your old filter into this bag when you remove it from on your furnace or intake vent. Once the filter is inside, tie up the bag to trap as much of the dust and debris inside as possible. Most of this dirt and debris can be rather easily unsettled, particularly if you shake the air filter or bang it against something. Do your best to avoid doing this. Don’t dispose of your old home air filter indoors—take it to your outside trash can and toss it there. Lastly, be sure to replace your old filter with a new one! You can sign up for an Automatic Filter Replacement Program by shopping our online store.
What are earthquake valves?
Earthquake valves automatically shut off the gas supply to your home in the event that major seismic activity is detected in the area. When motion of a certain magnitude is present underground, a mechanism in the valve will be triggered and cut off all gas flow to your home. The action of an earthquake can cause damage to gas lines and pipes. Cutting off the gas can help prevent any fires or explosions caused by those damages, potentially saving your home. These fires and explosions are often more damaging than the actual earthquake.
Do I need an earthquake valve?
Depending on where you live, you may be required to have an earthquake valve in place by law. However, even if it is not legally required, putting in an earthquake valve is still a good idea if you live in areas prone to this type of seismic activity. Bob's Heating & Air Conditioning has been installing these devices for our customers all around the greater Seattle, WA and Tacoma Metropolitan area for years. We would be happy to discuss your individual situation with you and help you determine whether or not an earthquake valve is a reasonable precaution for you to take.
When is it time to install a new air conditioner?
There are many reasons to call Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning for air conditioner replacement. From improper installation to lack of maintenance, a variety of things can interfere with your air conditioner’s performance over time. However, even the highest quality, most well-maintained air conditioning systems are susceptible to wear and tear, and will need to be replaced eventually. Fortunately, Bob’s has everything you need for when it comes time to make an upgrade. Whether you are replacing the old AC unit you have had for years, or simply need to install an air conditioner for the first time, you can count on our skilled HVAC technicians to help.
Does the size of my air conditioner matter?
Air conditioner sizing can be difficult, especially if you do not have the assistance of an experienced professional to help determine what works best for your home. A lot of homeowners assume the bigger the AC unit, the better. However, this is not necessarily the case. An AC system that is too big for your home will not be able to remove humidity effectively, potentially leading to mold and mildew growth. Improperly sized AC units also cycle on and off, cooling your home quicker but driving up your energy costs in the process. At Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we are committed to helping you find a system that is not so small it doesn’t fit your household’s needs, but not so big that it causes more problems in the long run.
Does my heat pump need to be repaired or replaced?
The average heat pump can last between 15 and 20 years if it is properly maintained. At Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning, our goal is to make sure you get the most out of your equipment, ensuring it works at peak efficiency for as long as possible. Watch out for the signs that your heat pump needs to be serviced, and make sure to call our skilled HVAC technicians right away if there is a problem.
Where should I place my thermostat?
To get the most accurate readings, it is crucial to place the thermostat in a central location. If the thermostat is installed near an exterior wall, it is likely to get skewed readings due to the cooler temperature of the wall. Similarly, if the thermostat is placed near a heat source, such as a fireplace, it is likely to get inaccurate readings due to the warmer temperature in that area. By placing the thermostat in a central location, you can be sure that it is getting an accurate reading of the temperature in the room, which will allow you to regulate the climate more effectively inside your home.
What is the difference between a tank and tankless water heater?
Traditional heaters have a tank that always keeps water hot, an action that wastes significant energy and limits the hot water you can use to only what exists within the tank. Tankless water heaters give you an almost endless supply of hot water by warming it with either a natural gas burner or some form of electric heating component as it exits the tank and is being pushed throughout your pipes.
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    We service tens of thousands of residences in the greater Puget Sound area. Any service big or small, not only can we handle it all, we've seen it all!

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